Monday, May 26, 2014

When you least Expect it....

I had a flat of flowers sitting on the table on my deck for a few days. My plan was to plant them in the pots that were already overridden with clover and weed, this late May day. It had been in the 60's by this time, so it was safe to plant them. I just hadn't yet. Since we were going away for the weekend, I thought I should get them planted before we left.

One by one, I began releasing the Portulacca from their little plastic market packs.  I love their mini little rose-like appearance, and the varied colors in which they come, and the fact that most are not in bloom when you get them, so you really never know what color they'll be. They may be multi colored or you may get a plethora of white or fuchsia. You just never know. But I have to admit, another reason I love them so much, is that they're drought tolerant--and since we go away for a good chunk of the summer, I know they'll be alive when I return, and I can water them till their heart's content, content myself in the knowledge that they'll come back, brighter and fuller and happier when they're renewed by the nourishment they need once again, despite the challenge they faced.

Another reason  I love them is that they reseed, and throughout the season, new little spouts are always emerging. Inevitably, then again, in the spring, new sprouts arise again from last year's fallen seeds. The first time I planted them, I didn't notice that the fallen seeds were coming up concurrently  as the original flowers grew, and are hidden below the established flowers, so seeing them sprout in the spring, after a winter of dormancy, was an unexpected surprise. Tiny, tiny, carpets of what look like Portulacca leaves. Oh!

When pulling the weeds  that have also dropped seed from the pots I am about to plant, I am careful not to accidentally pull the bonus seedlings, placing then three of the market pack plants into each of the pots and planters and as I'm nearing the end of my planting, I begin to hear the rumble of thunder. I'm unaware that rain is expected, but before I can get inside, the first of the rain begins to fall heavily.

I move on to the sunroom in my house and use the watering can I had planned to use outside, on my aloe plants inside. By this time, the rain has become torrential and the wind has picked up. I'm not too terribly surprised, because I'm not one to seek out the weather report. I'm enlightened every day by it. It begins to get louder as it strikes the skylights above me and I suddenly realize that it's no longer rain, but hail!  Hail in the month May.

At first I'm alarmed, but I quickly come to realize that it's something to behold. It's an unexpected surprise. I worry for a moment that my poor Portulacca seedlings will be harmed, as a significant amount of hail has fallen. But when it subsides, and the sun almost immediately emerges, I go outside to touch it. I gather it together between my palms, sweeping it into a small pile.

I inspect them and note their varying sizes and shapes.  Some look like the heart wood of a branch of a tree, and some are perfectly round  like the little silver balls you see on wedding cakes.

I'm not one to seek out the weather report. I'm enlightened every day by what it brings.  Perhaps I'd be better served on some days, to have checked the weather report first, and I may end up caught unaware, unprepared. But much like my drought tolerant Portulacca, I am resilient. 

A collection of hail can accumulate around the base of a flowering plant, in an unexpected hail storm in the middle of May,

but being Spring time, the sun is quick to return, and the hail very quickly melts, nourishing the root system, which allows it to flower and reseed, renewing it once again. Perhaps when you least expect it.

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